I got up on Ruby, and the sensation of hovering, only somewhat anchored, in mid-air, have disappeared.

Waiting for the rest of the ride to mount, I felt something I’ve never felt on a horse before— her sides were positively heaving, my legs moving with the bellowing of her breathing.

I called across the arena to an instructor, and pointed it out. Yes, she was blowing, and I didn’t feel good about that. It was a hot one today, and who knew how many hours she’d already done. She was knackered — a frighteningly apt application of the term, and I didn’t want to add to her distress.

Not much choice: with Rebel out, Bounty out, Texas out, and God-help-me Tango still on the DL, there aren’t many options.

Her breathing calmed, and we had a fine lesson, and I was delighted to take her up to her box and untack her for the day.

She is awesome. All her buttons work when pushed. I think if I just told her, vocally, to canter she would [must try that in the next lesson.]

I’ve acclimated to the absence of Rebel, and I know, I know I would have been off him soon anyway, but I would have liked to have had an active role in the choice. Ah, well. This is how it will be until I get my own horse.

There. I said it again.

Part of me is wondering what use there is riding a horse whose buttons work, but I already know the answer to that question. I can actually concentrate on achieving an independent seat, rather than merely fighting with the horse to go. So that’s good. And Ruby is a bit of spooker, so that will add to my store of knowledge.

And apparently, my jumping position has gone to shite. Shoulders hunching, hands tight to my body, loose legs, geez, there’s nothing left… oh, my bum was out of the saddle at least. So I’m going backwards to move further forward, I reckon.

Someone rode Rinaldo really well in the lesson, and I felt a twinge of annoyance at myself. I may have him again— may not be much of a choice there, either.

I’m grateful to have mastered the tough case that is Rebel, but it was time to move on. Here we go!

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